Financial Resources


The Illinois Small Business Development Center at Champaign County EDC is excited to present DreamxCU, a special funding opportunity for small businesses to apply for highly accessible, no-interest, no-fee loans from $1,000 to $15,000.

DreamxAmerica and Kiva U.S. have partnered to distribute $1 million of loan funding to 100 small businesses in the form of 0% interest, $0 fee, highly accessible loans $1,000 to $15,000 in size. All U.S. small businesses are eligible, including those in need of COVID-19 relief; immigrant, refugee, and first-generation entrepreneurs are especially encouraged to apply here (~30-40 minute application).


  • Most U.S.-based, registered small businesses are eligible
  • Business must be legal at federal level
  • Business must not be related to selling tobacco, weapons, adult entertainment, or a pawn shop or multi-level marketing business

Applicant Requirements:

  • There is no minimum credit score requirement
  • Applicant cannot currently be in bankruptcy
  • Applicant must not have been convicted of a financial or fraud-related crime

Use of Funds:

  • Loans can be used for any eligible business purposes, including general COVID-19 relief.
  • Loan funding cannot be used to purchase stock or equity, nor to refinance debt

Type of Funding: 0%-interest, $0-fee loans

Loan Amounts: $1,000 to $15,000

Loan Repayment Timeline:

  • 39 months for $6,000+ loans
  • 15-30 months for loans below $6,000

Funding Time: Average of 2 months

About the Applications:

  • Please be aware that you will need to submit 2 applications:
    • Application to the DxA-Kiva Special Initiative. Once your application is received and accepted, you will receive personal support and DreamxAmerica’s endorsement in applying for a loan to Kiva.
    • Application to obtain a loan through Kiva U.S.

How Funding Works:

  • This is a crowd-lending process on the Kiva U.S. platform, with an average funding time of 2 months, so your loan amount is funded by a combination of individual lenders on the Kiva platform, matching institutions (e.g., Bank of America), and Kiva U.S.

Application Process:

  1. Fill and submit the DxA-Kiva Special Initiative online application.
  2. Pre-Approval/Endorsement: After an initial evaluation by DreamxAmerica, one of their team members will respond to you by email within 1-2 weeks if either: a) they are pre-approving/endorsing your loan application, or b) they would like to set up time to interview you by phone in order to determine a decision regarding pre-approval/endorsement.
  3. Kiva Loan Application & Approval: If you are pre-approved, a DreamxAmerica team member will walk you through the Kiva loan application and formally endorse your application as a Trustee once it is submitted. Note that the loan amount approved is not always the amount that you request, as it depends on Kiva’s underwriting evaluation; however, the DreamxAmerica partnership with Kiva generally ensures a boost above the amount typically granted under similar circumstances.  You will receive an email from Kiva within 1-2 weeks asking you to approve your profile for the “Private Fundraising” stage.
  4. Kiva Loan Fundraising: Loan funds are raised via the Kiva platform in two stages: the Private Fundraising and Public Fundraising stages. The DxA-Kiva team will ensure the Private Fundraising stage is completed quickly by sharing your page with its network (no need for you to do anything). Next is the “Public Fundraising” stage, when your page will be made public to Kiva’s community of 1+ million online lenders. At this stage, both you and DreamxAmerica will share the page within their networks to help ensure the loan is fully fundraised; it generally takes ~45 days to complete fundraising. The vast majority of loans on Kiva’s platform get fully funded. For an example of what your Kiva page will look like, see here:
    • Release: By submitting this application and Kiva’s application, you are agreeing to release Kiva, DreamxAmerica, and its partners and affiliates to use your submitted information and photo on digital media, including to help ensure your loan is fully fundraised.
  5. Disbursement of Loan: you will receive an email from Kiva on how to receive funding, as well as how the repayment process works.

More Details:

This funding opportunity is brought to you by a partnership between the Illinois SBDC at Champaign County EDC, DreamxAmerica and Kiva U.S.